The Citizen (KZN)

Heist suspects get bail

MAGISTRATE SAYS STRINGENT CONDITIONS WILL PREVENT FLIGHT TO ZIMBABWE Men must report to police regularly, not allowed to travel outside province without permission.


Three men alleged to be involved in the heist at the OR Tambo Internatio­nal Airport in March were granted bail by the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Sibusiso Mnisi, Prince Dube and Thando Sonqishe are facing charges of robbery with aggravatin­g circumstan­ces for their alleged involvemen­t in what is considered one of South Africa’s biggest heists.

Magistrate Amukelani Msineki granted Mnisi R50 000 bail and he has to report four times a week to the Kempton Park police station. He is not allowed to leave Gauteng until the matter is finalised, unless he gets permission from the investigat­ing officer.

Earlier, the magistrate said Mnisi’s defence council had to prove that there were exceptiona­l circumstan­ces that made him qualify for bail.

She said the state and defence had agreed that the charges he was facing fell under schedule five on the Criminal Procedure Act.

Mnisi, 39, had made his bail applicatio­n on March 31. He told the court that he was a maintenanc­e worker and earned R7 000 a month.

In his affidavit, Mnisi denied being involved in the heist and maintained that there was no evidence linking him to the crime. He said that his admission statement was made under duress.

Investigat­ing officer Colonel Mabina Mahlangu alleged that Mnisi had supplied the cellphones that were used by the suspects to communicat­e.

Mnisi said he had no previous conviction­s and the state did not bring forward any informatio­n of previous misconduct.

Msineki said that there was no reason to suspect that Mnisi had any previous conviction­s.

She said the accused had strong emotional ties in South Africa as his family was based in the country.

He had no passport to travel outside the country.

“There’s nothing that links the applicant, except the admission statement.

“The state did not show this court how the applicant was involved,” Msineki said.

The magistrate granted Dube R150 000 bail, on condition he reported to police daily from Monday to Friday and twice on weekends. He also had to surrender his travel documents.

Msineki said that Dube denied being involved in the heist and that there was no evidence linking him to the crime.

Mahlangu found that Dube had four previous conviction­s, which was contradict­ory to Dube’s affidavit, which said he had two previous conviction­s.

Dube’s defence attorney said Dube couldn’t remember all his conviction­s as they happened many years ago.

The investigat­ing officer found that Dube was not a documented citizen and that he was from Zimbabwe. Mahlangu said the accused was likely to evade trial and commit other crimes. However, the magistrate said setting strict bail conditions could prevent Dube from evading trial.

She said that the state had not given evidence or documents proving that Dube was a Zimbabwean or that he was illegally residing in South Africa.

Msineki said that the state’s case was subject to doubt as Dube was merely linked by an admission statement that he had made.

“There’s nothing that links the accused to this case and that he was on the scene on commission of the offence. A SBV uniform was found in his possession, not a Saps uniform.”

Msineki said that the investigat­ing officer said the money found could be linked to the crime, but there was no evidence directly linking it to the heist.

Due to technical difficulti­es, the full details surroundin­g Sonqishe’s bail applicatio­n could not be disclosed. The magistrate granted Sonqishe bail of R100 000 and he has to report seven days a week, and notify the investigat­ing officer if he wishes to leave the province. The case resumes today. – ANA

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